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Antigen Vs. Antibodies


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My 9 yr. old grey, Cooper, tested positive for the antigen for lyme on her routine bloodwork. Last bloodwork was in 2017, no issues then. The vet has her on doxycline, 3 mg. daily for 30 days, saying this is protocol. As I understand it, antigens indicate exposure to lyme, but not infection? Vet did not say he wants to see her back when the doxy is complete but maybe it would not iindicate anything useful, anyway? Any info appreciated. TIA.

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Unsure exactly what kind of info you are hoping for; my thought would be if he's been exposed then he could become infected and I certainly would want to prevent that.

 

I'm not sure what your relationship is with your vet, but ours is new to us and they don't request or require the follow up I would have expected either. We basically told them what hookworm protocol we wanted to be on and they didn't really question it or ask us to do rechecks - we are the proactive party on all of it. We definitely have to be the #1 health advocate for our pup; vets simply can't be it for every single patient.

 

Maybe search some of the lyme threads elsewhere on the forum for stuff specific to the disease?

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I wonder if something got lost in translation? If they found it as part of routine testing I'm assuming it was through a 4D snap test, which does test for antibodies. I don't think there would be a point in rechecking using that test because antibodies only indicate that infection was present at some time, not that it's active now. So you'd expect a positive even after treatment. I think NC State might offer a PCR test for Lyme but I'm not sure.

 

If it were my dog, I would definitely treat. Dogs can have an infection and he asymptomatic, and it can be difficult to get rid of Lyme. Treatment isn't necessarily thought to be curative and chronic problems can pop up later. So if there were positive results, I wouldn't be waiting to treat and I would probably treat on the aggressive end as long as my dog was tolerating the meds.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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"If it were my dog, I would definitely treat. Dogs can have an infection and he asymptomatic, and it can be difficult to get rid of Lyme. Treatment isn't necessarily thought to be curative and chronic problems can pop up later. So if there were positive results, I wouldn't be waiting to treat and I would probably treat on the aggressive end as long as my dog was tolerating the meds."

 

treat and ask when you can retest.do inquire about the PCR test, some vets go for it - some don't. from what i remember retesting was somewhere around 6-8 weeks. the reason i say retest is tick borne diseases really wreak havoc on many systems. has your dog had the lyme vaccine in the past? that will give you a false positive

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. has your dog had the lyme vaccine in the past? that will give you a false positive

I read recently it won't, at least not on the 4D.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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We ARE treating per the vet's advice on protocol, with the doxy for 30 days. He did say we could do a C6 antibody test but didn't push it so we are not doing that if it will only yield more info that won't help. I just want to make sure I have all the bases covered.

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We ARE treating per the vet's advice on protocol, with the doxy for 30 days. He did say we could do a C6 antibody test but didn't push it so we are not doing that if it will only yield more info that won't help. I just want to make sure I have all the bases covered.

I read that you are treating. I was just saying that's what I would do as well.

 

As far as the C6 test, I wasn't familiar with it, but Google is quite helpful. It sounds like the benefit of C6 testing is that it can guage effectiveness of treatment as you should see the presence of the C6 antibodies decrease after antibiotics. I personally prefer to have more information than less, especially in the case of an infection that can pop up years down the road so I would do it, bit that's just me.

 

Link to a useful PDF:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://invma.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/03/Lyme-Disease-Pt2-INVMA-CE-1-5.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiquYyk5oHgAhWswVkKHTpGD_cQFjAAegQIBBAB&usg=AOvVaw32QeOTkxVhEzNm0YZwQ0h2

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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The C6 gauges the success of treatment. The number should drop at least by 1/2 to be considered successful. My dog was first diagnosed as being exposed with the snap test. My vet then had the C6 titer done to see if that number was over 30 or if my dog was able to fight the lyme himself. his titer was 134 so she treated, even though he was asymptomatic. the next C6 was down to 16 so treatment was considered successful. For my dog, I forget how long after treatment he was retested but if the number does not fall by at least 1/2, then treatment is repeated. My dog has been treated 3 times over the last few years. My vet said that it could be new infections, or it could be chronic infection. The titer ranges have ranged from a low of 16 after the first treatment to a high of 276. He is routinely titered (C6) every six months. My vet is in the camp that anything over 30 should be considered active and should be treated,even if asymptomatic, unless it is a retest after treatment that has fallen by more than 1/2. For example if my dog's 276 reading drops to below 138 than treatment is considered successful. Then, 6C is rechecked every 6 months and if the numbers rise back up she retreats. my dog's latest C6 is 30 which is great after that 276 number. You will find disagreement among vets as to whether to treat non-symptomatic dogs, regardless of the titer number after initial treatment, but I am glad my vet does not follow this thinking. However, since you have already started the Doxy, I don't know if checking C6 would be accurate at this point. I am hoping for a successful treatment for your dog.

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